Chemistry News

Beatrise Berzina receives a Baxter Young Investigator Award

Beatrise Berzina, graduate student in the Robbyn Anand group, has been selected to receive a 2017 Baxter Young Investigator Award. Baxter's Young Investigator Awards seek to stimulate and reward research applicable to the development of therapies and medical products that save and sustain patients' lives.

Congratulations Beatrise!!

ACS: MWRM

Registration will open this summer for the 2018 Midwest Regional ACS Meeting.  Abstract Submission will begin in May with a Deadline for Abstract Submission of July 24, 2018.

NMR technique plays vital role in searching for next antibiotic

Vincenzo Venditti, an assistant professor of chemistry, is searching for a new kind of antibiotic in the fight against superbugs. “Superbugs” are microorganisms such as bacteria, which have adapted to be resistant against the typical drugs used to treat them.

By using the NMR technique to reduce the number of drug compounds to test against the enzyme, Venditti hopes to greatly reduce the time spent searching for a molecule that can inhibit the enzyme and ultimately be used to create a new, effective antibiotic.

Cotton-Uphaus Winner Announced

There were four wonderful and informative talks given by four outstanding finalists, but the judges have awarded the Cotton-Uphaus award this year to Bryan Lampkin.  Great job Bryan, and please join me in congratulating all of our finalists!

The finalists were (in alphabetical order):
Anuradha Viraj Wijesekara
Beatrise Berzina
Bryan Lampkin
Yang Yun Chu

Latest Rankings of Graduate Programs by U.S. News and World Report

The magazine reports its graduate rankings are based on two kinds of data – expert opinions about program quality and statistical measures of a program’s faculty, research and students. The magazine says researchers did statistical surveys of more than 2,012 programs and sent reputation surveys to more than 20,500 academics and professionals.

The magazine’s latest rankings of Iowa State graduate programs ranks Chemistry, tied for 48th overall and tied for 28th among publics

Chemists use abundant, low-cost and non-toxic elements to synthesize semiconductors

One of the problems for Javier Vela and the chemists in his Iowa State University research group was that a toxic material worked so well in solar cells.

And so any substitute for the lead-containing perovskites used in some solar cells would have to really perform. But what could they find to replace the perovskite semiconductors that have been so promising and so efficient at converting sunlight into electricity?

The holy grail of biology: advancing the modeling of cell differentiation

Davit Potoyan and his research team have made advancements in the understanding of the nature of embryonic stem cells and how they transition into specific adult cells by using a novel computational methodology. The knowledge could one day lead to advancements in organ growing for transplants, reducing reliance on organ donation.

Terry Kruse awarded LAS Staff ExCYllence Award

Terry Kruse has been awarded the LAS Staff ExCYllence Award. His nominator described him as, "a go-to transfer recruiter and relationship builder for the LAS College as we work with Iowa Community Colleges." It takes a fully committed staff to serve students well can we can't thank him enough for the work he does!

He will receive a cartificate of apprecation and a small gift of recognition of his award.

Summer Courses in Chemistry

This summer, invest in yourself by taking Chemistry summer courses, enjoy smaller class sizes, fewer distractions and get ahead/stay on track to meet your graduation goals. The 8-week semester allows you to focus on the class, and many students have seen an improvement in their GPA. Best of all, you can enjoy a beautiful summer in Ames.

Chemistry is fun year-round, see the full list of courses at

Summer 2018 courses in Chemistry

Questions? Email isuchemistry@iastate.edu or call 515.294.6352 or visit 1608 Gilman Hall

15 African-Americans who were hidden heroes of the Manhattan Project

Samuel Massie, of Little Rock, Arkansas, worked as a chemist at Iowa State University's Ames Laboratory during the Manhattan Project. 

Rossini quoted in Semiconductor Engineering

Hedgehog spin-vortex crystals
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has discovered a missing piece to enable novel superconductor devices–the hedgehog spin-vortex crystal phase.

UFMAS improves NMR technology. “Many new materials have been developed in the past decade to address needs for energy conversion and storage,” said Aaron Rossini, a scientist at Ames Laboratory, and a professor of chemistry at Iowa State University. “However, there is still a lot we don’t know about how these materials function. We want to change that and bring new information to the table that will be used to optimize these materials.

“Our work could have far-reaching impact on a lot of fields, in electronics, lighting, solar cells, nanoparticle design, materials with a variety of energy applications,” said Rossini. “If we are able to explain how structure and function are related, we can help direct intelligent materials design.”

Bailey awards will allow Winter to further discoveries in dynamic materials

Winter will build upon his lab’s work with dynamic materials, including organic plastics that reversibly alter their physical state due to environmental changes. Through innovation with free radical building blocks, Winter’s lab may be able to create revolutionary materials that could be used to manufacture glues with switchable adhesion, environmentally-responsive coatings and surfaces, artificial muscles, and self-repairing materials. Similar advancements with metals have yielded commercially viable, advanced materials making future investment from outside sources a strong possibility.

RCSA Names Cottrell Scholars for 2018

Brett VanVellar is named as one of 24 Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) Cottrell Scholars in 2018. This prestigious award is given to top early career academic scientists.

Klaus Ruedenberg wins prestigious award

Ruedenberg, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of chemistry, will receive the 2018 Schrödinger Medal from the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists (WATOC).

Congratulations to Amrit Venkatesh

Amrit Venkatesh, a student in Rossini's group, has been selected to receive the Brown Graduate Fellowship for 2018-2019. This $10,000 award is given to students who are helping to advance ISU's research in the areas of science, agriculture and space science. The Brown Graduate Fellowship is to be used to strategically advance ISU research in the areas of study that are governed by the Valentine Hammes Family and Leopold Hammes Brown Family Trust. Venkatesh is one of 13 recipients this year. Congratulations!

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